PESHAWAR: The health department has terminated the contracts of eight doctors for transferring and posting themselves through fake notification and has decided to send their cases to Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) for initiating legal action against them.

“We are strictly investigating other such notifications too. A process of re-verification of office directives has been started and others would face action,” Health Secretary Mohammad Tahir Orakzai told Dawn.

He said that staffers of the health department and outsiders were also involved in the practice under which fake orders were issued unlawfully without the knowledge of the department. So far, we have found enough evidence to send these cases to anti-corruption,” he said.

The health secretary said that he had ordered the director of Independent Monitoring Unit (IMU) of the department to conduct a full-scale re-verification of all directives and submit a report accordingly. There was no room for corruption and illegal practices and all the employees would be facilitated to get fair chances of posting and transfer, he said.

Health dept decides to send their cases to ACE for legal action

A letter to IMU said that the secretary’s office noticed many fake notifications that required a detailed probe to fix responsibility under the terms and conditions of the contracts of the employees.

The unit was also instructed to verify their professional degrees, registration of Pakistan Medical Commission, attendance, posting and transfer orders and professional conduct certificate from the relevant district health officers (DHOs).

Sources said that the action was initiated when a doctor lodged a complaint last month, alleging that he had bribed officials of health department for getting transferred to tehsil headquarters hospital in Landi Kotal, Khyber tribal district.

Dr Salman Khan, medical officer in district headquarters hospital, Charsadda, told an inquiry committee last month that he demanded his money back from the officials when he was not transferred to Landi Kotal.

He said that he wanted to get transferred to Landi Kotal under spouse policy as his wife was also a medical officer there. He alleged that he paid Rs200,000 to one and Rs30, 000 to another and Rs20, 000 to two other employees of health department for the purpose.

The doctor said that two employees returned him Rs200,000 and Rs20,000 when he lodged complaint while the other two were not paying Rs70,000 to him and sending threats to him and his wife over pursuing the case.

“The father of the doctor went to secretary’s office to request his transfer to native Swat district due to threats. Now, the couple has been provided security,” a senior health official told this scribe.

Sources said that the inquiry was near completion and many people besides the staffers of health department could be involved in the scandal. They said that the department transferred the medical superintendent of Landi Kotal hospital and others. They would face strict action, they added.

However, sources said that the medical superintendent of Landi Kotal hospital was made scapegoat as no allegations were levelled against him by the complainant doctor.

They said that as the department was investigating the doctor’s complaint on the directives of Health Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra in mid-February, it was found that besides staffers of the department outsiders were also involved in such illegal matters. After that re-verification of all the notifications was ordered that found transfer orders of eight doctors as fake, they added.

“This is a big scam because the relevant DHOs would also be asked as to how they accepted such notifications without intimating the health department. Furthermore, people with fake degrees and other documents can also be identified,” said sources.

They said that doctors and other staffers submitted arrival report with the relevant DHOs and medical superintendents, who relieved others in close coordination with the health department.

Published in Dawn, March 7th, 2022

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